News Brief

Terrorist Pannun 'Killing Plot' Case: Top Court In Czech Republic Approves Extradition Of Indian National Nikhil Gupta To US

Kuldeep Negi

May 23, 2024, 10:18 AM | Updated 12:18 PM IST

Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannum
Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannum
  • Major victory for US in Pannun 'killing plot' case as Czech court approves extradition of Indian accused of trying to kill the terrorist.
  • The Czech constitutional Court has permitted the extradition of Nikhil Gupta, an Indian citizen, who is suspected of being involved in a plot to assassinate Khalistani terrorist in the United States.

    The US Justice Department charged Gupta in November with planning the murder of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a US-based Khalistani separatist, designated terrorist by India.

    The US also alleged that an Indian government official was involved in the plot targeting Pannun.

    On Wednesday (22 May), the Czech top court rejected Gupta's appeal against lower court decisions that had approved his extradition, news agency AFP reported.

    However, the final decision on Gupta's extradition remains will be taken by the Czech justice minister.

    Gupta was detained at Prague airport on 30 June 2023, following extradition request from the US Justice Department.

    The United States and the Czech Republic share an extradition treaty under which the extradition was requested.

    The Justice Department stated that the intended target of the plot "is a vocal critic of the Indian government and leads a US-based organization advocating for the secession of Punjab".

    Last year, the US had shared information with the Indian government about the foiled assassination bid, and also sought an investigation into the alleged involvement of the Indian official.

    India's External Affairs Ministry had announced the establishment of a "high-level" inquiry committee to investigate the case.

    Meanwhile, a recent report in The Washington Post suggested involvement by a former Indian intelligence officer in the alleged assassination plot. However, the Ministry of External Affairs has dismissed the report as “unwarranted and unsubstantiated”.

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    Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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